Monday 17th May 2021
Climate protection disrupts financial planning
Altmaier believes in the debt brake from 2024
Would a “solid federal budget” have been possible as early as 2023, as Economics Minister Altmaier put it? If so, it doesn’t seem to work anymore. However, the corona crisis is not to blame, stricter climate protection laws are driving the federal government into the parade.
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier believes a return to the debt brake may not be possible until 2024. “I think the goal of submitting a solid federal budget again, which does not have to invoke the exception rule, is feasible in 2023 or 2024,” said the CDU politician of the “Rheinische Post”.
From his point of view, the previous financial planning for 2023 is already outdated because of the stricter climate protection law: “I would be happy if the Federal Minister of Finance would come up with smart proposals for 2023 on how we can get back to complying with the debt brake instead of plans for tax increases to breed, “added Altmaier.
He sees no scope for tax cuts, as demanded by the FDP. “That is why the FDP is ready to suspend the debt brake for a longer period of time,” criticized Altmaier. He doubts the “genius of this proposal”. “Because in this outbid competition to jeopardize financial stability, the FDP will not be able to keep up with the Greens, the SPD or the Left in the long run,” warned the Minister of Economics.
Altmaier exercises – a little – self-criticism
In view of the debt in the corona pandemic, the future of the debt brake has been debated for days. Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock had described the return to the debt brake in 2023, which Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and the Union were striving for, as unrealistic.
According to the debt brake anchored in the Basic Law since 2009, the federal government is only allowed to borrow to a small extent, namely a maximum of 0.35 percent of economic output. Exceptions are temporarily permitted in emergency situations such as the current corona pandemic.
The expansion of renewable energies must now proceed faster than previously planned. That should not lead to rising electricity prices for private households and companies, said Altmaier. He also admitted delays in climate protection. Much has been achieved. “But a lot could and should have happened faster,” said the Minister for Economic Affairs. The accusation does not only affect the federal government, but all parties represented in the Bundestag.